Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | September 21, 2010

9/20/2010 Lynette Mullen Interviews Entrepreneuer and Philanthropist Jessica McGinty

The story of how Jessicurl came to be actually dates back to LONG before I ever made my first batch of Rockin’ Ringlets.

Until the time I was 14 I had thick yet fairly straight hair. Somewhere around the time that puberty stuck, my hair grew more and more coarse and eventually started to curl. I was mortified and at a total loss for how to deal with it. The only advice my straight haired mother could offer was “Go brush your hair!” As we all know, that’s the WORST thing to do to curly hair! My dad was more sympathetic, as he’s the one who gave me the curls, but his motto when it came to “our” hair was “bigger is better”. As a self-conscious 14 year old who didn’t want to stand out, that wasn’t very helpful either.

As my hair grew bigger and bigger, my peers grew meaner and meaner, calling me such names as Mushroom Head, Egg Head, Crusty and Helmet Head. (the latter two were due to the fact that I’d wet my hair down in between classes to keep it from puffing out.)

As I grew up, my hatred of my hair didn’t dissipate. Finally in 2002 I figured there had to be a better way, and typed “curly hair” into Google to see what the internet had to offer.

The first thing that came up was I was thrilled to find that there was an entire community (or CURLmunity as they call it) of curly haired people who shared the same struggles as I did. Who knew??

I immersed myself in their Curl Talk message board and quickly made many “cyber friends” with whom I traded hair tips and horror stories. Much of what they talk about, however, are products. I would go out and buy any product that someone raved about, most of which didn’t do anything to make me like my hair better. Many of them actually made the condition of my hair worse, drying it out with alcohols and stripping it’s natural oils with harsh detergents.

Then one day I came across a very basic recipe for a hair gel made out of flax seeds. I remember thinking, “Wow, how cool would it be if I could just make my OWN hair gel? I sure would save a lot of money!”

I tried that very basic recipe, and the results were less than stellar. By this time I was inspired, however, so I tweaked the recipe, adding other natural ingredients that I had learned are good for curly hair. The results were nothing short of miraculous. I was shocked that FINALLY my hair looked like I wanted, and I had made the product on my stove!!

With much exuberance, I went back to the message boards and excitedly shared the recipe with my newfound friends. (The thought of going into business hadn’t crossed my mind.)

After posting my recipe I was flooded with emails from curly headed members asking if they could just buy some of the magic potion from me, as they really didn’t feel like making it. The rest, as they say, is history! Rockin’ Ringlets Styling Potion was born.

That was September of 2002. Since that time I’ve added two more styling products, three conditioners, 2 cleansers and 2 oils. The business has also since bee n moved out of my home and into our current factory in Arcata, CA where I have a WONDERFUL staff. 

Being thrust into the role of small business owner has been a crazy roller coaster, but it’s been the most wonderfully exciting thing I’ve ever done. It’s an amazing feeling to know we’re providing products that are actually GOOD for curls, made from mostly natural ingredients. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

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